The Astronomical Association of Queensland (AAQ) announced in 2019 that grants from the Edward Corbould Research Fund (ECRF) would be made available to fund astronomical research by Australian amateur astronomers commencing in 2020. Applications for funding up to the value of $10,000 were invited, to be received by the AAQ General Secretary no later than 31 March 2020 (originally 29 February 2020, it was extended). Projects requiring in excess of this amount may be considered under special circumstances.
The ECRF has been established to encourage and assist astronomical research, rather than simple data-gathering. Projects in any field of astronomy are considered. Projects must comprise observational research which has a clearly defined objective and timeline, adds to the body of knowledge, and is appropriate for publication. Funds may be requested to support any aspect of the research including appropriate equipment (excluding office equipment and items which form an inherent part of a larger whole such as telescope mirrors), consumable items or essential travel but excluding personal remuneration. Applications for funding solely for travel to conferences or for planning research will not be considered.
The application was required be in the form of a research proposal and include the following:
- A statement of the aims and hypotheses of the project.
- Details of the proposed methodology including analysis of the data to be collected.
- A timeline for the project.
- An itemised list of proposed expenditure including justification of each item and a ranking of the items in terms of priority: 1 – those essential for the project; 2 – those considered necessary to maintain a reasonable rate of progress to bring the project to completion; 3 – other items which would be useful in supporting the project.
- A short CV of the applicant including relevant astronomical experience.
- A letter of support for the project from a scientist working in the field covered by the proposal.
- A review of the relevant scientific literature, supported by a list of references.
- Further details on the requirements can be found in the PDF ECRF Grant Applications Guide.
The signed copy of the application was required to be sent by post or scanned and lodged via email to the General Secretary of the AAQ at the address below. Sufficient biographical and project information had to be provided to allow the Research Committee to determine if the recipient is capable of achieving the project’s aims and the project is scientifically worthwhile. Applicants requesting more than one item of equipment or consumables had to provide a list of priorities showing which items are essential and which could be left to a subsequent year.
Applications are reviewed by the AAQ Research Committee which makes recommendations to the AAQ Council. If, in the Research Committee’s opinion, no worthy project is proposed in any year then no funds will be granted for that year.
Applicants must be Australian citizens. Successful applicants who are not members of the AAQ are required to join the AAQ before funds can be disbursed and must remain members during the period of the grant. The current membership fees are published in our Membership Pack. Successful applicants who are not already AAQ members will be advised in time so that they may make membership applications to be received by the General Secretary prior to 1st June for subsequent election to membership at the June 2016 Council Meeting.
Successful applicants must submit annual project progress reports to the General Secretary to be printed in the AAQ Annual Proceedings over the life of the project up to a maximum of 7 years. They must also provide evidence to the General Secretary of the expenditure of the grant in the form of receipts, photographs etc.
Equipment purchased under the ECRF grant remains the property of the AAQ. If the project is of limited duration the equipment is to be either returned to the AAQ or the applicant may purchase the equipment from the AAQ at its depreciated value. Equipment is depreciated at a rate of 20% per annum after the first twelve months with the equipment written off after a 7 year period. Where the equipment is lost, stolen or damaged during the grant recipient’s custodianship, the recipient must so advise the Council as soon as possible. The Council reserves the right to ask the recipient to make a contribution to the repair or replacement of the items.
Contact the General Secretary for further details or enquiries.
Email: General Secretary
The General Secretary,
Astronomical Association of Queensland,
PO Box 6101,
St Lucia QLD. 4067.